News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th March 2004


Exclusive! Tales From The Tabloid Front Line - 100 Years Of The Daily Mirror examines how the work of those engaged in producing newspapers has changed, as the industry has embraced a century of sweeping technological advances. The exhibition is divided into six areas, analysing the jobs of workers at different stages in the process. Technicians shows how the new Bartlane machine was used to transmit images around the world in 1920, and how the first wireless tests from an aeroplane to a receiving station on the ground were pioneered. Photographers contrasts how snappers were once weighed down by vast amounts of kit, including the actual De Vere Long Tom camera used to get close up pictures of the coronation in 1953, and how today they can function with just a camera‚ mobile and laptop. Reporters includes the then state of the art laptops that were issued in the 1980's, and the other equipment used over the years to get the stories back to the office - from tickertape machines to mobiles. Newsroom shows how raw words and pictures are shaped into a front page, with examples of some of the major science and technology news stories of the last 100 years. Editors looks at how a succession of editors have styled the Mirror‚ originally launched as a paper for women, creating the now established tabloid feel. Printers charts the revolution from 'hot metal', with pages assembled letter by letter, to digital technology, with pages set on a screen in the newsroom sent direct to the printing machines. Science Museum until 25th April.

Haunted: Hanna ten Doornkaat is a series of photographs which transform the detritus of urban life into intricate artworks of great beauty. Hanna ten Doornkaat creates narrative scenes commenting on our increasingly fraught relationship with nature, using non-degradable rubbish and packaging. Thus she painstakingly forms a butterfly from a Wrigley's spearmint wrapper, and a tiny beach hut from a Macdonald's carton, which she then places in a natural setting and photographs in extreme close up. In our daily lives we are surrounded by marketing symbols through a profusion of objects and images that have direct and indirect effects on our landscapes. Ten Doornkaat's fictional scenarios highlight the visual degradation of the urban landscape to which we have become inured, and point up how we have embraced a disposable culture, becoming divorced from nature. In other images, ten Doornkaat has used a reverse technique, meticulously digitally erasing forms she believes to be detrimental to the environment, using a kind of reverse drawing to remove that which she finds offensive. A minor gem. Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea until 24th April.

Home And Garden: Domestic Spaces In Paintings 1830 - 1914 explores the representation of urban domestic interiors and gardens in art, focusing on the middle classes rather than the more familiar Royalty or aristocracy. It offers an opportunity to examine the material culture, tastes, values and social milieu of this increasingly influential and confident sector of society at the peak of Britain's wealth and power. The exhibition comprises 40 paintings and drawings, including works by William Powell Frith, James Jacques Tissot, Walter Sickert, George Elgar Hicks, Rebecca Soloman, Mary Ellen Best, John Atkinson Grimshaw and Spencer Gore. It is divided into three main sections: portraits, the room or garden as subject, and genre. The genre paintings, which reflect morals, manners, roles and relationships within the domestic context, often contain revealing details or carry implicit messages reflecting middle class values. The exhibition explores the stories contained within each image in an attempt to assess to what extent these paintings show actual homes and gardens, and how much the artist may have altered or intervened in the interests of composition. These pictures are rich in meaning and symbolism, and provide vivid glimpses into private worlds. For example, 'Evenings at Home', a rare portrait of the great Victorian design reformer Henry Cole (responsible for the development of Victoria and Albert Museum) conveys both an enormous amount about his character and home life, and some of the design principals on which he based his career. Geffrye Museum until 18th July.


We Are The People: Postcards From The Collection Of Tom Phillips presents over 1,000 photographs of ordinary people in postcard form, selected from the extensive collection of the artist and postcard addict Tom Phillips. In the first half of the 20th century, the picture postcard transformed the art of portraiture from elite pastime to popular craze. With photographic equipment cheaper, and film faster, studios sprang up in every town, and also outdoors on every seaside promenade. In this new medium, poacher and gamekeeper, boss and labourer, manager and clerk were suddenly equal, as everyone became a postcard. Phillips has developed his own idiosyncratic filing system for his collection of over 50,000 postcards, and it is reflected in the themes of this exhibition, including Picnics, Make Believe, Aspidistra, Man And Child, Bathers, Fantasy Transport, Music and Women In Uniform. Studio portraits introduced new possibilities for fantasy and aspiration, as sitters could pose against classical pillars or velvet drapes, in their Sunday Best or fancy dress, and at the wheel of a dummy motorcar or in a cardboard aeroplane. These postcards originate from many different photographers and studios across Britain, and reflect the changing fashions and trends in commercial portrait photography of the period, as well as the changing tastes in dress and pastimes of the sitters. Entertaining, intriguing, humorous, and at times haunting, they provide not only a glimpse into history, but also an invaluable visual record of British society as a whole. National Portrait Gallery until 20th June.

The Humour Of Embarrassment: H.M. Bateman's 'The Man Who' Cartoons celebrates the acquisition of 61 prints of 'The Man Who' cartoons by Bateman, one of the foremost British cartoonists of the early 20th century. These drawings originally appeared as colour double page spreads in The Tatler in the 1920s and 1930s, during one of the most glamorous periods of its history. A Bateman drawing is frequently characterised by an immensely expressive and rhythmical line, with characters convulsed by the intensity of their emotions. In 'The Man Who' cartoons, individuals, through ignorance, impudence or folly, do 'The Thing That Isn't Done', and draw the wrath or derision of society down upon their heads, as with 'The Guardsman Who Dropped It' or 'The Shop Assistant Who Lost His Temper'. Bateman's originality is based on the way he drew people: not as they looked, but as they felt. If they are embarrassed, people say they feel very small, and Bateman took the phrase literally. As well as the original Bateman drawings, the exhibition also features a number of more recent pastiches by contemporary cartoonists, such as Ralph Steadman, John Jensen, Dave Brown and Steve Bell. There are accompanying illustrated talks about Bateman's work by his biographer Anthony Anderson, and cartoonist Les Coleman. The Cartoon Art Trust Museum, London until 22nd May.

A Most Desperate Undertaking: The British Army In The Crimea, 1854 - 1856 marks the 150th anniversary of the Crimean War, the first in which the British media played a key role, with William Howard Russell's reports from the front line appearing regularly in The Times. The Army was woefully ill prepared, and Russell's reports highlighted the suffering of the soldiers, blaming the Army Command for its inept and erratic supply system, disregard for adequate cooking provision, and neglect of basic sanitation in its hospitals. The storm of indignation he raised unseated the government and led to rapid reform. This exhibition tells the story of the war from the perspective of the soldiers, whose fortitude inspired the first democratic medal for gallantry, the Victoria Cross. It analyses the role of the Army Command, and the impact made on the course of the war by civilians such as Russell, Roger Fenton, one of the world's first war photographers, and Florence Nightingale, who implemented hospital reforms. Among the exhibits are the order directing the Charge of the Light Brigade; a lamp used by Florence Nightingale; a telescope belonging to Lord Raglan, Commander of the Army; the diary and VC won by Captain Walker at the Battle of Inkerman; Roger Fenton's photographs; the journal of Captain Nolan, the first cavalry officer to be killed during the Charge of the Light Brigade; and numerous drawings, letters and personal artefacts relating to the ordinary soldiers. National Army Museum continuing.

Roy Lichtenstein is the first major retrospective of the American father of Pop Art in the UK for 35 years. Lichtenstein shot to international fame with his paintings based on cartoon characters - Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Popeye - but it was his blown up comic strip scenes of wartime action and romantic melodrama, such as 'Whaam!', 'Ohhh… Alright…' and 'In The Car', and his paintings of everyday objects culled from advertising, including 'Coffee Cup', 'Golf Ball' and 'Radio' that established the Pop Art movement. These paintings surprised and shocked the public in the early 1960s twice over. Firstly, for their precise, mechanical style: big, brash and immediate, in bold primary colours (often created by dots as in the original comic strips) within thick black outlines. Secondly, for their provocative use of subjects, taken from the worlds of commerce and popular culture. From the late 1960s onwards Lichtenstein extended the range of his imagery, applying the same techniques to still lifes, figure studies, landscapes and interiors. He examined colour, pattern and form, spatial illusions and the styles and iconic images of modern life, with increasing complexity and an ironic humour. This exhibition presents over 80 paintings and drawings, spanning nearly 40 years, providing an opportunity to see not only his most famous works "in the flesh" but also some relatively little known pieces. Viewed in retrospect his work reveals a simplicity, economy and subtlety that far outstrips the other pillar of the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol. Hayward Gallery until 16th May.

Dinomites takes visitors back 150 million years to a prehistoric world, and brings them face to face with baby and juvenile dinosaurs. With lifelike models, complete with sound effects and a jungle setting, the display examines their cycle of life, from birth to death. From the fearsome predator, the Tyrannosaurus rex, to the almost mild mannered leaf eating Stegosaurus, the exhibition shows the power and majesty of these formidable creatures. Alongside the models, interactive displays reveal a wealth of dinosaur information, including which of the dinosaurs roamed over England, how the Styrachosaurus used their horns, and what made a typical meal for the Velociraptor. The exhibition is complemented by rare fossils, depicting dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, which come from the museum's permanent collection. A wide range of family events and activities accompany the show during the Easter and summer holidays. Further information can be found on the Horniman Museum web site via the link from the Museums section of ExhibitionsNet. Horniman Museum until 31st October.

Due South: Art And The Antarctic By John Kelly is a record of a three month journey to the bottom of the globe made last year with the scientists of the British Antarctic Survey. Working with a variety of media, Kelly recreates the vast and isolated environment of the polar landscape, showing what it is like to survive - as artist, scientist or animal - at the edge of the world. The exhibition encompasses paintings, sketches, photographs, sculpture, sound samples and found objects, such as bones and feathers. It includes a visual diary of Kelly's experiences during his voyage from the Falkland Islands across the notoriously stormy seas to the South Orkneys, and his stay at Signy Island station, including his involvement with the scientific work conducted there. The island offers a wide variety of landscapes and wildlife, ranging from the penguin colonies of the Gourlay Peninsula, through the elephant seals of the flats, to Signy's ice cap. A recreated interior of a polar hut, complete with shelves of scientific equipment, bottles, oilcans, animal bones and twine is a reminder of the early days of polar exploration, when scientists in the field made do with the basics. Working as an artist in the world's last great wilderness presented certain problems, including how to overcome the high winds and low temperatures. Sketching equipment was adapted to these extreme conditions and time spent working on the ice had to be short and intense. Natural History Museum until 1st August.


How To Live In A Flat: Modern Living In The 1930s looks at the new phenomenon of the 1920s and 30s - purpose built flats for the middle classes. They were the height of modernity, small yet convenient, with the most up to the minute facilities and appliances, and were promoted as offering luxury, style and sophistication. This exhibition looks at the planning, the equipment, the furnishing and the lifestyle associated with this alternative to the family home. Using the latest materials and technology of the time, flats were fitted out and furnished in a streamlined modern style that contrasted sharply with the traditional 'Tudorbethan' semis that sprang up everywhere between the Wars. Apartments were a chic urban alternative, which were responsible for launching the craze for 'built in everything'. William Heath Robinson satirised the ingenious use of space and the development of multifunctional furniture in his book How To Live In A Flat which gives this exhibition its title. This was the moment that interior design entered the domestic environment for the first time. Flats may have given their occupants much less space than they were used to, for instance separate rooms for eating and living were merged into one, but they also offered unheard of luxuries, such as refrigerators, central heating and constant hot water, which changed the way the residents lived their lives. The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex University, Barnet, Herts until 28th March.

Quentin Blake: 50 Years Of Illustration is a retrospective of the drawings of the man best known as the illustrator of the works of Roald Dahl, and for being the first Children's Laureate, appointed in 1999. Spanning his 50 year career, it features everything from his earliest drawings, published in Punch when he was 16, through cartoons seen in The Spectator, to illustrations from nearly 300 books. The latter include his highly successful collaborations on children's books with both Dahl and other writers, such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen and John Yeoman, and his own writing in which he created characters such as Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage, as well as illustrations from classic books for adults. The comprehensive display, with rough designs, preliminary drawings and finished originals, as well as the final publications, provide a unique insight into the working methods of one of Britain's best loved illustrators. The exhibits come from the collection of The Quentin Blake Gallery of Illustration, which is planning to set up a permanent space to display the thousands of drawings in its archive. The Gilbert Collection at Somerset House until 28th March.

William West And The Regency Toy Theatre celebrates a great British institution on the 150th anniversary of the death of its inventor. In 1811, William West, a London haberdasher, began to issue sheets of engraved figures from current theatrical productions as an amusement for children. The phrase 'penny plain and twopence coloured' was coined to describe these prints, hand-coloured in deep hues. When children started to use them to perform the plays on miniature stages, West found that he had accidentally stumbled on a new career. He developed and perfected the idea over the next twenty years, commissioning wooden theatres for sale, and publishing plays that crossed the boundary from souvenir to practical toy. Later works by his successors John Redington and Benjamin Pollock are possibly better known, but this exhibition is devoted to West's pioneering work in creating the English toy theatre. It offers an insight into the childhood pursuits, scenic art, production style and popular culture of the period. The Regency toy theatre is closely related to the development of the architecture of its time, displaying the same historical and exotic styles, and effects of colour, perspective and lighting that were familiar to theatre audiences. This exhibition features the best of West's characters and scenes from the 146 miniature plays he produced. Associated material shows his sources, including scene designs, playbills and scripts, from the exotic melodramas produced at Covent Garden, Drury Lane, the Olympic and Astley's Amphitheatre. Sir John Soane's Museum until 27th March.